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Ambrose Bierce QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A man is known by the company he organizes.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms agains himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Abscond - to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Abstainer - a weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Alliance - in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
AMNESTY, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
An egotist is a person of low taste - more interested in himself than in me.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth - two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Clairvoyant, n.: A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron - namely, that he is a blockhead.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Confidante: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Conservative - a statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Consul - in American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Consult: To seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Consult. To seek another's approval of a course already decided on.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Convent - a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Corporation. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Dog - a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Doubt is the father of invention.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment of the truth.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Duty - that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Edible - good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Education, n.: That which discloses the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Education. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Egotism, n: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Egotist. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Eloquence, n. The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Enthusiasm - a distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Erudition - dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Eulogy. Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Experience - the wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Fidelity - a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Friendless. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
GENEALOGY, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Genius - to know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them. It's one of the curses of London.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
I never said all Democrats were saloonkeepers. What I said was that all saloonkeepers are Democrats.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Immortality: A toy which people cry for, And on their knees apply for, Dispute, contend and lie for, And if allowed Would be right proud Eternally to die for.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Impartial - unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Incompatibility. In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Insurance - an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Insurrection. An unsuccessful revolution; disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
JEALOUS, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Land: A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Life - a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Optimism - the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Optimism: The doctrine that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong... It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Patience - a minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Prejudice - a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
PRESENT, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
RUM, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Sabbath - a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Spring beckons! All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Suffrage, noun. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The covers of this book are too far apart.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The future is that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
There are 4 kinds of homicide; felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
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There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
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To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
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Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
When you doubt, abstain.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.
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Wit - the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce
Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.
Quotation of Ambrose Bierce